As a practice, we currently only raise a client bill once the work has been completed. We have an increasing problem obtaining records from clients which delays the billing and subsequent cash flow and are considering introducting a fixed fee charge basis and monthly direct debits.
Although this will help to improve cash flow, my question is whether we can / should raise monthly bills for the agreed work even if there's a backlog due to delay in receiving records? Or would the funds be more appropriately held on account?
Would it make a difference if in the engagement letter, the fixed fee included unlimited advice which could arguably be charged for as a retainer whether or not the main piece of work (e.g. the monthly bookkeeping) has been completed?
Thanks in advance for your help.